Rework from 37signals: Daily Meditations for Entrepreneurs and Startup Employees

Back of business book Rework.

The back cover of Rework. I disagree with their bite-sized take on meeting, but different strokes.

My introduction to Rework came in a Facebook status update. “I insist that you read REWORK, from the founders of 37signals,” my teammate Dwight Knowlton wrote. “I’m a third of the way in and inspired.”

He nailed it.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t feeling Rework at first. I like my business books to be nice and meaty like, say, Built to Last. Rework is definitely not a 10 on the Inc. rigor rating.

But Rework is filled with bite-sized morsels of business wisdom – particularly for someone working in a tech startup like Bulbstorm. And it left me properly inspired to post my first blog entry in nearly three months!

Now, on with the morsels:

  • On lean product design: “Constantly look for things to remove, simplify, and streamline. Be a curator. Stick to what’s truly essential.”
  • On productivity: “Those taps on the shoulder and little impromptu get-togethers may seem harmless, but they’re actually corrosive to productivity. Interruption is not collaboration, it’s just interruption.”
  • On meetings: “Invite as few people as possible, always have a clear agenda, [and] end with a solution and make someone responsible for implementing it.”
  • On constraints: “Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make due with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.”
  • On getting to market: “Put off anything you don’t need for launch. If you really think about it, there’s a whole lot you don’t need on day one.”

I read from a daily meditations book every morning. Nothing too meaty. Just 100-or-so words from the author plus 40-or-so words of my own scribbled at the bottom of each page.

That’s how I think one should read Rework. It’s not a rigorous examination of the ins and outs of business. It’s more of a daily meditation book for entrepreneurs and startup employees. It provokes enough thought to push buttons without overwhelming the already-taxed mind.

Read one passage every morning and spend five minutes reflecting. Perhaps, like my teammate Dwight, you’ll be inspired too.

So, what’s your favorite business book? I’m looking for a new read, and ready for you to sway my choice!


  1. Excellent review! You have me convinced 🙂 As for book suggestions, its not new anymore, but have you read “Made to Stick” yet?

  2. Thanks Melissa! I have not read Made to Stick, but I enjoy the authors’ columns in Fast Company. They seem like bright guys … or at least good writers. Maybe I’ll check that one out next. 🙂

  3. Been meaning to read Rework. This is just further proof I need to get with it!

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